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REDFORD, Helen Kay (nee Anderson)
March 14, 1940 - September 27, 2011
Helen's life was celebrated at
a private memorial on October 5, 2011.
Helen was a smart, caring woman with a love of family and an ability to see the lighter side of life. She offered unconditional love and unwavering support to her three unique daughters Alison, Melody, and Lynn, her two beloved granddaughters Sarah and Manessa; and sons-in-law Glen Jermyn, and Walter Miranda. She is survived by her soul mate, John Hamilton with whom she settled in the community of High River and made many friends. Also left to treasure her memory are her brother William (Bill) Anderson and his children Kimberly and Jason; and Gordon Anderson and his children Rob and Kimberly. Helen was predeceased by her parents' first child, Robert, and by her mother and father, Robina (Cowan) and William Anderson, originally of Glasgow, Scotland. Helen and family immigrated to Canada when she was eight years old, first landing at Pier 21 in Halifax, and then travelling west to Alberta, where her father began a career with Imperial Oil. Settling first in Edmonton and then in Redwater where the family owned a grocery store, Helen graduated from high school, and then studied secretarial arts at college in Edmonton before working at Alberta Natural Gas. After marrying Merrill Redford, Helen moved to Kemano, BC, and it was there that they started their family with Alison and then Melody. Later, they moved to Dartmouth, NS and completed their family with the birth of Lynn. Never settling too long in one place, the family was then off to Miri, in Sarawak, East Malaysia, a time which the family fondly remembers as one of learning and family camaraderie. Ensuring the girls were afforded the best education, the family returned Alberta to settle in Calgary. This is where Helen managed her career, her children's schooling, and the family life until her children graduated from University and built independent lives. Throughout her working career, Helen always worked with people: she was a real estate agent, a sales representative, a census commissioner, and a special constituency assistant to the Hon. Jim Hawkes, MP for Calgary West. Whether at work or at home, Helen befriended people from all walks of life and was often found quietly helping them overcome one obstacle or another; she was not the kind of person to endure the frailties of structures that put anything but people first. One of her favourite career memories, however, was managing the office of the Electoral Observer Commission in South Africa leading up to the country's first democratic elections. She held dear her memory of the inauguration of newly-elected President Nelson Mandela at which she was surrounded by people of all ages and from every community in South Africa singing in unison the national anthem, Nkosi Sikeleli Africa. This memory pales in comparison, however, to the feelings she had when she welcomed her two shining granddaughters into the family. These moments and those that followed gave Helen the contented joy of the head of family that adored her and respected her. Helen made this world a more beautiful place, and for that and for all that she was, her family and her friends will be forever grateful. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Helen's name to the Alex Community Health Centre in Calgary (Telephone 403-513-7400), a service organization that helps families access health care and supports them through their lives in a place they call home. Memories or personal notes about Helen will be gratefully received and treasured. Photos, memories and condolences may be shared with Helen's family through www.evanjstrong.com . Arrangements in care of EVAN J. STRONG FUNERAL SERVICES. Phone: 403-265-1199.


Published in The Calgary Herald from Oct. 9 to Oct. 12, 2011
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